The first new Lutheran church in Pest is scheduled to be built in Pest by the 500th aniversary of the Reformation in 2017, it was revealed at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Luther Chapel in Pestszentimre, a suburban neighbourhood of Budapest’s District XVIII, on Sunday.
Speaking to the state news agency MTI, Bishop Péter Gáncs, leader of the Protestant church in Hungary, said that over his thirteeen-year service as a bishop, he only had the opportunity to inaugurate a single cemetery chapel in Békéscsaba, a town in southeastern Hungary that is home to the country’s largest Lutheran church.
He recalled that while several new or renovated churches were handed over to communities following the transition to democracy in Buda and its surroundings, the last time a Lutheran church was built on the Pest side of the city was before the end of the Second World War in 1945. The modest chapel, resembling a granary instead of a “soaring cathedral”, is a “sign of life” and proof that there is demand for new churches in the capital too, Bishop Gáncs said, expressing his hopes that the necessary funds will be raised for the structure to be finished by 2017.
Local mayor Attila Ughy stressed in his address that Christians celebrate the birth of the first congregation and belonging together at Pentecost, which means that it is a “worthy Pentecost gift” for the local Lutheran community to begin building the church.
Around 200 000 people, or 2% of the population, declared to be of Lutheran faith in the 2011 population census.
cover photo: Bishop Péter Gáncs, leader of the Lutheran Church in Hungary (photo: Zoltán Balogh/MTI)